Thursday, April 17, 2014

KW's Dallas resigns after 17 years

By The Herald Staff | 1/3/2014

SALINA — Dave Dallas, the face of Kansas Wesleyan football the last 17 years, and the longest tenured coach in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, has submitted his resignation.

Athletic director Mike Hermann said a national search for a new coach will begin immediately and that defensive coordinator Bob Frey will be named interim coach in the near future.

SALINA — Dave Dallas, the face of Kansas Wesleyan football the last 17 years, and the longest tenured coach in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, has submitted his resignation.

Athletic director Mike Hermann said a national search for a new coach will begin immediately and that defensive coordinator Bob Frey will be named interim coach in the near future.

Dallas compiled a 94-79 record at Wesleyan. His teams won two conference titles (2001 and 2002), which resulted in the only two NAIA playoff berths in school history. The Coyotes finished with sub-.500 records just five times under Dallas, who ranks second on the school’s list of career coaching victories. He trails only Gene Bissell, who won 116 games in 26 seasons.

Hermann said Dallas’ decision wasn’t a surprise.

“Dave and I have been talking the last few weeks about things. We’ve been chatting about a number of options and that’s where we are,” he said.

Wesleyan was picked to finish fourth in the KCAC coaches’ preseason poll on the strength of a large senior class. But the Coyotes started the season 1-5 that included a four-game losing streak and finished with a 4-7 overall record — 3-6 in the KCAC that tied them for seventh with Saint Mary. Wesleyan was 6-5 in 2012, and 5-6 in 2011.

Dallas’ best seasons were 2005 and 2006, when the Coyotes compiled 8-2 records.

Dallas came to Wesleyan in 1997 after eight seasons as coach at Ottawa University (38-39 record) and took over a Coyote program that was in turmoil after one season under Ron DuPree.

Dallas said it’s time to seek new a challenge.

“I feel good about my decision and the direction I need to go,” he said. “After sitting back and thinking about it, I think it’s going to be good for me. I need the change.”

That said, the 53-year-old Dallas has no plans to retire to the rocking chair.

“I’m going to look for another job, I want to be a head coach again. I want to coach another 10 or 15 years,” he said. “I think I’ve got another run in me and have that burning desire to that.

“I wouldn’t be opposed to taking an assistant’s job or a football (operations) job, something of that nature. That doesn’t bother me one bit.”

Dallas said his greatest joy was working with the athletes.

“I’ve been able to coach thousands of great young men, including my three sons (Drew, Casey and Trey), and that’s been a blessing,” he said. “The biggest thing is the relationships I’ve been able to build. I’ve been one that’s tried to make young men better people and I think I’ve done a really good job with that.

“I look at where the program was 17 years ago and where it is today, and I can walk away without any regrets.”

Later, when pressed, Dallas said he will depart with two regrets — the first not being able to coach the Coyotes when they move into a proposed new on-campus stadium next fall.

Demolition of Glenn Martin Stadium is scheduled to begin next month, with construction slated to follow sometime in March.

“I feel like I was involved in that and regret we won’t get to play on it, but I feel like a stamp of mine will be on it and I really worked hard for it,” he said.

The second and larger regret was his decision to serve as the school’s athletic director for two years, in addition to being football coach.

He was persuaded to take the AD job by former president Fletcher Lamkin and stepped down last summer after Matt Thompson took over as KWU president in April. Hermann was hired in July.

“I wish I wouldn’t have done that,” Dallas said. “I wasn’t able to concentrate on football. I didn’t have the day-to-day contact with the football program, that was the big thing.”

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